Kamla Ad­vani, a Bridge Be­tween Ad­vani, Va­j­payee

An in­te­gral part of Ad­vani’s life & politics, Kamla was never in­ter­fer­ing, ob­tru­sive

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Namita Bhat­tacharya was among the first ones to reach BJP leader LK Ad­vani’s house on Wed­nes­day af­ter hear­ing of his wife Kamla’s death. Daugh­ter of for­mer prime min­is­ter Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee, Namita had en­joyed ‘Kam­laaunty’s’hos­pi­tal­i­tyumpteen time­sand­wasal­so­privy­tomeal­time ban­ter be­tween the two lead­ers.

Her pres­ence at the Ad­vani house­hold was not only to ex­press the loss that­she­felt.It­was­more­forthe­grief she knew her ail­ing fa­ther ex­pe­ri­enced at pass­ing away of the warm and­prag­mat­icKam­laAd­vani.

Ad­vani’s son Jayant con­firmed Namita’s visit, as also that of her hus­band Ran­jan Bhat­tacharya on Thurs­day mor ning at their Prithvi­raj Road res­i­dence.

Kam­laji, as she was re­spect­fully ad­dressed by most party lead­ers, had been the bridge be­tween Ad­vani and Va­j­payee on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, when­ever there was a hint of any dif­fer­ences.

Peo­ple close to the two lead­ers re­call­howKam­laAd­vani­hadanin­de­pen­dent rap­port with Va­j­payee and how he would call her di­rectly and in­vite­him­self for­lunch.Th­ese­calls gen­er­ally co­in­cided with the times when the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two lead­ers had hit a rough patch or some­thingsneed­ed­to­beironed­out.

“Kamla ji was­no­tonlyanex­tremely warm per­son, she also had an in­ci­sive in­tel­li­gence and in­tu­itive po­lit­i­cal wis­dom. Ad­vaniji has the ten­dency wto re­treat into his shell be­yond a point. This was when his wife­made­thed­if­fer­ence,”dis­closed a leader close to the fam­ily.

Va­j­pay­eein­vit­ed­him­self for­lunch – apart­fromthein­nu­mer­able­times he has eaten at Ad­vani house­hold — on at least two known oc­ca­sions. Once was dur­ing the Arms­gate de­fence deal scan­dal in 2001 and then in the wake of con­tro­versy over Ad­vani’s La­hore visit in 2005. There were whis­pers that things be­tween the two lead­ers were not well, and that Ad­vani, ow­ing to Va­j­payee’s se­nior­ity, was find­ing it dif­fi­cult to present his view point. “It was then Va­j­payee called up Kam­la­jiand an­nounced that he was com­ing for lunch the next day, giv­ing Ad­vani a fait ac­com­pli,” the leader said. Ad­vani’s wife cooked Va­j­payee’s favourite Sindhi Kadhi among other things and kheer for dessert.

Things were not al­ways se­ri­ous around the lunch ta­ble at Ad­vani’s house. In fact, dur­ing one of Kamla aunty com­pleted Dada (Ad­vani)... It was a com­pletely col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship

Va­j­payee’s many meals there, Kamla Ad­vani told the guests that when she saw Ad­vani for the first time, he was wear­ing trousers. How­ever, when she saw him in his Sangh avatar, wear­ing a dhoti, she told him that had she known he would be dress­ing like that, she wouldn’thavea­greed­tomar­ry­him.

It was clear that Kamla Ad­vani was an in­te­gral part of his life and politics with­out be­ing in­ter­fer­ing and ob­tru­sive. BJP na­tional sec­re­tary Vani Tri­pathi, who has en­joyed Kamla Ad­vani’s hos­pi­tal­ity on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, says, “Kamla aunty com­pleted Dada (Ad­vani). They rep­re­sented the Ardhnaresh­war in the true sense. It was a com­pletely col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship.”

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